Thursday, February 9, 2012

Righteous Indignation

If it was warmer than usual, in the upper 20's, I wouldn't have known because there was a fairly cold wind blowing in that just cut through the layers of clothing.

The weather forecast still says snow, but I am still praying for a warmer spell. Whatever happens, happens. I decided to try and get as much washing done as I possibly could, praying that I could get around to the dirty blankets before snow falls, it it does indeed fall.

This has been a simply beautiful, albeit windy, day and did manage to get a lot of work done even though I was thoroughly frustrated and more than a little angry.

The homeless are many, diverse
By Glenn Higham

I am a homeless U.S. veteran. I do not panhandle, fly a sign or bum cigs. I am a man trying to survive and find a job. I've been told many reasons why I do not qualify for housing and financial assistance: too young or old, not physical/mentally disabled, single, no kids, not an immigrant, and wasn't in a wartime period.

When not working I volunteer at the OUR Center's food pantry, stocking shelves and handing out food boxes. I like helping out fellow homeless people and the families who are having a hard time, especially the children. It also makes me fell more a part of society and the Longmont community.

Many types of people are homeless now, ranging from 18-70 years old. Males, females, blue collar, college educated, whole families, for a lot of different reasons. And now the turkey plant has closed and 300 more people have lost their jobs.

Not all of us are drug addicts and are alcoholics. The other day when I was at the library, a lady pulled her kid aside and said "That is what happens when you don't take care of your teeth or brush." Well, FYI, Mrs. So and So, I lost my two front teeth in a bike accident, on the way down the mountain, coming from a $7.36-an-hour job.

We appreciate the help we get from the OUR center and HOPE. The hot meals and a pair of dry socks means a lot to us. But when you use the shower voucher they give out and put on clean clothes and then in 25 degree weather have to crawl through snow and mud to get underneath a bush, you still wake up dirty. The shelters does not open until 20 degrees and dry or 30 degrees when it's raining or snowing. I wish every one of us had received the Young Marines, Boy Scout and Army training that I had. They would be able to survive the elements better.

We have to carry all are belongings and sleeping bags with us. If the police find them, they are gone. It's even worse if they catch you in your spot. You will get an illegal camping ticket, which will cost a $150 fine.

So when you see a slightly dirty, unshaven person carrying an overstuffed backpack, do not judge a book by its cover. That is someone's child, parent, grandparent or sibling. Please do not turn away. Nod your head and smile; you might even say "hi." Or at least say "thank you" when I hold a door open for you.

With these days of foreclosures, high rental prices, large bills, etc., you might be in my situation tomorrow.

I would like to thank the staff of the library for giving me the opportunity to use the computers to do job searches and to email. It makes me feel more human. Also thank you to the empoyees of the 7-Eleven on Longs Peak for letting me get hot water in the morning for instant coffee.

Glenn Higham is a resident of Longmont.

I have such a hard time being homeless, it's such a nightmare struggling in inhumane conditions and I miss my mother. I suspect I have made at LEAST 300 requests for help from the Ogilvie-Huckins family and received only one response - an anonymous threat to sue me because of this blog.

It's one thing going through unbelievable hardship as an adult, how can a child be expected to cope with this?. When you start to look around and see the level of human misery inflicted on a large percentage of the population because they lost their home... and are now homeless... it's more than any compassionate human can withstand.

Nothing gets to me as much as children being abused, mistreat or neglected and it literally drives me insane to think that our resource. The next generation where our investment should be. Mere CHILDREN, are sleeping in vehicles, in tents because they don't have a home.
It is beyond anything I can even start to comprehend. It simply infuriates me.

Being homeless makes you feel worthless. In all ways when you become homeless you are silently being told that you don't deserve a home. Why are we, by our apathy, telling children that they are unworthy? Why are we allowing children to suffer so?

Tired of the BS from 'Advocates'

I worry that things are so screwy that we'll "eat our young" as we all scramble for a piece of the dwindling, vulnerable federal human services pie. It seems that a group of so-called advocates and unenlightened legislators are poised to do just that--"eat" homeless kids by depriving the majority of them of assistance otherwise available for homeless kids staying in shelters.

Gosh, this homeless definition issue is getting so drawn out that it makes me shake my head in wonderment. I dug through my email trash to look at what the young-eaters give for reasons to oppose forcing Congress to help more homeless kids. Shameful. I'll let their words speak for this atrocious form of advocacy.
If HR 32 (The Homeless Children and Youth Act) were enacted, children who are now defined as homeless, including those who are fleeing domestic violence, living in dangerous situations, or literally sleeping outside, would be forced to compete for scarce resources with millions more who have the advantage of a more stable apartment or house to sleep in every night.
As NAEHCY Policy Director Barbara so adamantly points out, "Defining a problem by the funding currently available to address it is nonsensical. Congress needs to know who and how many people are without housing in order to devise effective solutions. A narrow definition of homelessness does nothing to reduce the number of people living without their own homes. It simply gives policymakers an unrealistic view of the scope of the problem.

I'd be even more caustic. Continuing a failed policy of counting homeless people, spending money and volunteer/staff time each year to do so, to produce the absolutely bogus AHAR (Annual Homeless Assessment Report...or
the capital of Ahar County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran) is irrational and unconscionable. Furthermore, the last thing we need to do is confuse Congress on matters of poverty.
... HR 32, if enacted, would expand the definition of homelessness to include an additional 2,351,762 low-income housed children each year, who, although their housing may be poor, are not literally homeless (my underline).
The esteemed Barbara Duffield rebuts, "H.R. 32, will not require communities to spend HUD funding on doubled-up and motel families and youth. It simply gives them the flexibility to do so when these families and youth need HUD homeless services...Vulnerability determinations must be done on a local, individual basis, after gathering as many facts as possible. Congress is not in a position to decide the relative vulnerability of individual children and adults in communities across the county."

My good friend Pat LaMarche took a swing at this issue in her Christmas HufPo column following the testimony of 6 supremely courageous and articulate kids who testified to Congress about the agony of homelessness (the non-HUD kind). She gets it. She ran a shelter for a few years.

And I'd add that the time and energy we've spent on this issue is time wasted. Not so much for policy-wonks but for families and youth being excluded from possibly getting emergency assistance. How can you look a kid or a desperate parent in the face and say they're not homeless enough...when they are as homeless as the next person, and possibly suffering abuse, among other common experiences? Not "literally homeless"? That reference pushes me over the edge. When do we get to splitting hairs over who's homeless, more homeless, most homeless? I can't even go there. Nor should they.

Had I not just witnessed the debacle between The Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood, I'd think our advocacy wars were unusual. In case you missed it, here's the powerful and poignant response on this life-threatening issue as courageously and vociferously offered by Linda, a woman whose own experience with breast cancer gives her the right to weigh in, which she did. Catch her last line.

I'll be looking for an outraged parent or kid who is willing to go on record like Linda did about the atrocious behavior of "advocates" and public officials that think our pathetic level of assistance directed to the crisis of homelessness is enough. But until then, I'll close with some thoughts of my own...
To pretend that you have any comprehension of the anguish, agony and hopelessness of homelessness is absolute bull shit. To shy away from a united and forceful campaign to begin to relieve millions of people in this country from the sufferings of homelessness makes me disregard your efforts entirely.
If you wish to act upon this outrage, check the HEAR US website, Compassion Epidemic, Hot Alert!
This is simply heartbreaking. Why, in a nation that claims to be Christian, are human beings sleeping outside? Don't people understand what it's like to be so cold or uncomfortable.. to be so dirty or hungry, that you no longer see yourself as a human being?
There has to be someone related to Robert & Sylve Huckins must have some means to reach them, if it be Michael Huckins, Dr.Kenneth Ogilvie ( Diana Huckins? Dominic Huckins? Malcolm Huckins? ) or Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins and get them to return ALL of the money they stole from us so that I can buy a home and get our lives back. I am begging anyone in this family for help.

I don't believe I have EVER witnessed any none vio
lent crime that can be as devastating as stealing someone's home. I am walking in Dorothy McKeevers footsteps, day by day, month by month, year by year.

Liam Griffin, I sat in your law office with two witnesses as you gave me your promise, your guarantee, that our money would be returned before harm came to us.

Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins you were present the day I signed contract with your son. You walked out of the kitchen with Sylve Huckins and your son introduced me to you. He told you that I was the British horse trainer he had told you about, the one he was going to build the home and barn for. Why didn't you say something? There may be a rational and reasonable explanation but I have spent over 3 years, homeless, not understanding it. I understand it even less knowing that though I was a total stranger, both Dorothy McKeever and Sally Canning you KNEW, and you knew what your son had done to them and others.

Dr. Kenneth Ogilvie, I contacted you and simply asked f
or a reference, not knowing that Robert Huckins was your cousin. Robert Huckins had just stolen over $30,000 from the domestic violence shelter, HEAL, yet everyone was trying to hide it. There was a history of stealing large amounts of money. $65,000 PLUS from Nancy Canning. $89,000 PLUS from Dorothy McKeever, $45,000 from Francis McKinney. The list just goes on and on and on.
Because of Robert Huckins I ended up paying
$140,000 to be homeless.. sat in the cold, emotionally, physically and financially broke. In the middle of a recession, with no way to recover the stolen funds.

Today Robert Huckins has his own home...
He also has OUR home.....
He also has a lot of people's money...
And his freedom.

Women are not banks or loan institutions. Women should not be the source of a retirement fund for people who don't want to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Holding women hostage while playing with the judicial system, a horrendous game of cat and mouse extending YEARS, with the victims whose very homes, families and stability are in jeopardy is cruelty, as cruel as a physical beating. It is financial and emotional RAPE. Homelessness is not justice. It is a slow, painful death.
Please, I beg with everything I have within me, pl
ease convince Robert Huckins to stop this torture and return the building fund he stole from us so we too, can have a home.

Relevant pages:

Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.~Winston Churchill